Atheism is actually a religion (not an endorsement, strictly speculative)

infowarrior1

Hummingbird
Another thing I notice is that militant atheists tend to be tolerant of polytheism. Polytheism doesn't inflame them as much as monotheism, especially the way Christianity does. Back when this place was a game forum, there was this very prominent member named soup. He fit the standard atheist portfolio: lived in a major city, was fascinated with pop science, into liberal politics (minus the feminism) and absolutely detested Christianity and God. He once stated that even if he could be shown that God existed, he would still hate Him. Also, he talked about how if he was forced to follow some sort of religion his first choice would be to pick the Norse pantheon and that he would look to figures such as Odin and Thor for guidance since he saw them as much more masculine.

Sometimes you'll see these sort of people saying stuff like "Hail Odin" when someone around their vicinity mentions something related to Christianity. Obviously, this is supposed to be meant in mockery and not a statement that they are actually Norse pagans but I feel behavior like this is revealing of what they are sympathetic towards. I vaguely remember a Stephen Fry video where he was talking about even though he's an atheist, he found Greek gods to be more palpable to him than a monotheistic one. It's a general attitude I've seen around atheists that are hostile to faith: they don't believe in any sort of polytheistic gods but they still are fascinated by them and just find them to be more cool than God. For me, this is further illustration of how polytheism really is ultimately just an early form of humanism, the deification of man and of self-worship.
I believe the reason why God absents himself in an apparent fashion from many Atheists purview is because Atheists have this attitude.

And God will not throw his Pearl before Swine.

So yes Atheists do get confirmed in their Atheism once they have consistently attempted to ignore God despite him reaching out to them in the 1st place.

1st like Pharoah. They harden their hearts(Exodus 8:32). Then God hardened their hearts in response to repeated hardenings of their heart(Exodus 9:12).

Therefore if their Atheism is crystalized. God has decided to make them a Vessel of Wrath to demonstrate his Justice.
 
I used to watch Matt dillahunty debates on YouTube. He's probably the best atheist debater. I was convinced by his arguments and quit my religious beliefs for a while. I was left with a big void in my life. He would make the argument that it's because I was no longer part of a Christian community but that wasn't it. My parents were not actively religious and I never even attended church. Still just the absence of having God in my thoughts left me feeling purposeless. I could not find meaning in anything beyond my self-pleasure. Life was just a random series of events all ultimately meaningless. I was supposed to replace God with science and more nihilist mindset. You know get more girls, have more sex, make more money ect.

I started thinking if atheism was really the truth then it shouldn't be so hard to live with that belief. Why are humans so deeply wired to maintain belief? Is it upbringing or is there something more intrinsic. I realized that having God not only makes me happier more stable and able to perform better but it also completes me as a person. Atheism goes against our very nature because we were created with this capacity to believe.
 

Grey

Sparrow
To paraphrase Pascal, God has made himself and the Christian religion clear enough that anyone seeking it can find it. He has made it obscure enough that anyone who does not want to find it will not.

But on the day of judgement no one will have an excuse.
 

STG

Robin
Wherever people have been found they have always believed in God.

Whether its primitive tribes in the Amazon praying to their God of the river, to Japanese people believing in Shintoism, human belief in God is natural while humans not believing in God is not natural.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
...
I started thinking if atheism was really the truth then it shouldn't be so hard to live with that belief. Why are humans so deeply wired to maintain belief? Is it upbringing or is there something more intrinsic. I realized that having God not only makes me happier more stable and able to perform better but it also completes me as a person. Atheism goes against our very nature because we were created with this capacity to believe.
The Devil's-advocate argument against this would be that humans are deeply wired to believe in God precisely because life would otherwise be meaningless and we would then be less motivated to look after our families and communities (and not because God actually objectively exists).

An atheist might argue that faith and religion are very valuable and serve a very important purpose in our society even if they are technically not true in a literal sense.

In other words, life really is meaningless and somewhat random, and there really is nothing after death. But we are better off believing in God and having faith, because universal atheism and nihilism would lead to the destruction of our society (or at least it would have in a pre-Industrial world).

These atheist ideas are not my beliefs. I am merely playing Devil's advocate in order to show that your argument ("God exists because otherwise life would be meaningless") is not sufficient to disprove atheism.

It is akin to a poor person saying "If I am actually poor, then I will be miserable. Therefore, I am actually rich." Or a man whose son has died saying "If my son is actually dead, then I have nothing to live for. Therefore, my son is alive."

Wanting or needing something to be true doesn't automatically make it true.

I believe there are many other good arguments for God's existence that don't rely on merely wishing Him to exist or dreading the implications of atheism and nihilism.
 
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Grey

Sparrow
So, the first response to that would be to point out that the materialists measure of truth is pragmatism. In this paradigm science is true because it works, not for any deeper reason of actually unpicking absolute truths of the universe.

In that paradigm religion is true simply because it works, simply because it actually does create more stable, cohesive, longer-lasting societies. There isn't a logical categorical difference between the two. Faith shows how to create a stable society in the way that scientific inquiry shows how to create a combustion engine.

Artificial substitutions, such as philisophical humanism, simply don't work that well and are not accepted by enough of society. Your lay atheist won't notice but the history is pretty clear that experiments with humanistic societies and the exclusion of religion proper are disastrous.

Now of course there are philisophies of atheism that are not pragmatic, but objectivism and atheism don't play nicely together, and existentialism very quickly wanders into religious metaphysical territory.

The pragmatic power of Christianity goes far beyond that of other religions. That's why something like Pascals wager is far more robust than it appears at first glance. Pascal was a more or less irreligous boy genius mathmatician that converted mainly on philosophical grounds. Christianity is a better deal than anyone could hope for, and atheism really doesn't offer anything even if it was true. To him, that alone is practical, rational grounds for faith in Christ. But his faith was hardly only rationalistic, his penses are very contemplative, and he cautions against relying on human reason, like so many others calling it a whore.
 
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